Clashes in northern C Africa threaten security plan

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
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Plans by Central African Republic’s beleaguered government to reassert control in the north of the country were in difficulties on Monday after clashes marred the return of the state’s top representative to a key city.

Colonel Augustin Tombou was formally installed on Saturday as prefect in the town of Kaga-Bandoro – a politically important step in the strategy to restore state authority in strife-torn provinces.

But sources reported a surge of violence, including mortar rounds fired against UN peacekeepers, gunfire targeting a camp for displaced people and a grenade that was thrown during Tombou’s induction ceremony.

Tombou’s residence was “partially destroyed” and the prefecture itself was burned down, Jean-Serge Bokassa, minister of territorial decentralisation and administration, told AFP by phone on Monday.

The prefect has been taken to a secure location but does not have the means to exercise his duties, he said.

“We are looking at urgent steps for enabling the prefect’s proper deployment,” he said.

A vehicle owned by an aid organisation was carjacked by armed men, and another was looted, a source with an NGO in the capital Bangui said.

“What worries us is that if this situation continues, aid workers will have to pull out once more,” the source said, referring to a wave of attacks on NGOs.

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